Talk about costly typos. A mistaken e-mail address typo had placed in jeopardy “highly confidential brokerage account information” of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) customers and the investment bank is suing to get a do over, court documents reveal.
Goldman Sachs brokerage information leaked
According to a report in Reuters, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) contractor is accused of e-mailing confidential Goldman brokerage information to the wrong e-mail address.
A Goldman Sachs contractor apparently used a .gmail email extension on the address rather than a .gs and sent the e-mail to a person other than the intended Goldman target.
Goldman Sachs seeks Google’s help
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) is asking Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to delete the e-mail to avoid a “needless and massive” breach of privacy. Google initially indicated they would cooperate if possible but later said Goldman would need a court order in order for Google to delete the errant e-mail. But then early Friday Google reversed course and deleted the e-mail.
“Google complied with our request that it block access to the email,” Goldman spokeswoman Andrea Raphael told Reuters. “It has also notified us that the email account had not been accessed from the time the email was sent to the time Google blocked access. No client information has been breached.”
On Google’s G-mail platform there is no easy method to recall errant e-mails as there is in Microsoft Corpration (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Outlook e-mail software, for instance.
The wayward e-mail was mistakenly sent on June 23, Goldman said in court documents filed last Friday in a New York state court in Manhattan. According to Goldman’s court document, an outside contractor had been testing changes to the bank’s internal regulatory processes in connection with reporting requirements set forth by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Goldman said the contractor originally wanted to email her report, which contained the client data, to a “gs.com” account, but instead sent it to a similarly named, unrelated “gmail.com” account. The bank has been trying to reach the owner of the e-mail account, but said the e-mail account owner has been non responsive and it has been unable to retrieve the confidential document. Goldman said a member of Google’s “incident response team” reported on June 26 that the email cannot be deleted without a court order. The e-mail was not opened and Google deleted it today, Reuters is reporting.
Goldman Sachs’ brokerage clients well-heeled investors
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS)’s brokerage clients are typically well-heeled investors who, at minimium, have millions invested with Goldman, who advises these often privacy minded wealthy individuals.
“Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs’ clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs,” the bank was quoted as saying in the report. “By contrast, Google faces little more than the minor inconvenience of intercepting a single email – an email that was indisputably sent in error,” it added.
Goldman is based in New York, and Google in Mountain View, California. The case is Goldman, Sachs & Co v. Google Inc, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 156295/2014.